Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by TJames03, Jun 10, 2019.
JR was an antagonist, not a protagonist.
Read more closely. It says "a protagonist or notable figure...'
Oxford defines antihero as: A central character in a story, film, or drama who lacks conventional heroic attributes.
Please stop embarrassing yourself.
It’s not that important. You win.
It's not about winning or losing. I said early on in this:
You're not changing my mind and I'm not trying to change anyone's mind. Everyone sees things differently.
Still you just had to go on and heavily imply that no, we don't all have the right to see things our own way, that your way of seeing things was the one right way. I don't know what you were trying to get out of it.
None of what we discuss here is "important" It's supposed to be fun, and it is, until someone comes along and basically says we don't have the right to see things our own way.
I think it becomes a grey area because "heroic" qualities can vary from cultures and time periods. For example, Odysseus is considered an epic hero. However, he brutally slaughters all the men who are squatting in his home while he's away at war. Yes, they deserve punishment, but would today's society consider death without trial acceptable? No.
Odysseus also had numerous sexual dalliances on his journeys despite being married. Totally acceptable at the time.
Today it would totally besmirch his name.
Kenny, you made a good point about JR drawing the line at murder. I remember when Pam was missing while looking for emeralds, JR was worried she might die, which would be his fault since he was behind the whole scheme.
The times JR crossed the line for me was when he stole Lucy from Valene and when he raped Holly and Laurel. He could justify these actions in his mind, of course, but they're when he was firmly under the heading of villian.
Morality and values always lead to shades of grey. It's the human condition, and it's what makes characters such as JR, Sue Ellen, Jock et.al, so interesting.
It is interesting, especially considering the time we're living in with people who want to be arbiters of everyone else's morality. This reminds me of one of those attorneys who ask “Isn’t what you said immoral”? Well, based on whose morality? Morality isn’t a universal truth. Your morality is different from my morality, is different from their morality. There are very few universal truths out there. Those who fail to learn history’s lessons are doomed to repeat its mistakes. History is rife with people saying my morality is right and yours is wrong which has led to wars and conflicts and problems.
There were definite times I sided with Katherine early on in the series, especially around the time of Bobby and Pam's divorce.
In these prime time soaps there's usually a distinction between villainous and dangerous characters.
The physical danger comes from the Mafia/Cartel type characters (Angelica, B.D. Calhoun) and psychotic killers/rapers/kidnappers (Jessica Montford, Katherine, Roger Larson).
Because they can't get away with these things they're almost never portrayed as The Resident Villain, and their time on the show is always limited.
I think most of the Ewings have been anti-heroes at some point, certainly Bobby and Sue Ellen, but maybe also Miss Ellie.
JR didn't "do what he had to do", he did much, much more. In those 10 years he's made more enemies than Jock did in 50 years, not because he had to, but just because he could - and he reveled in his own wickedness.
It wasn't just about building and protecting Ewing Oil, it was also a big ego trip, hence why his brothers shouldn't be part of it.
He undermined his brothers as much as he could, and treated their wives like dirt (worse, even).
And that's what the quintessential soap villain does: manipulating, obstructing and torturing the non-villains.
What gives you the idea that viewers don't like and enjoy the villains?
For the record, I think JR is the greatest TV villain of all time and was always a joy to watch. But he was a villain.
If a villain isn't getting the audience to hate him, the actor playing him isn't doing his job. If a hero isn't getting the audience to like him, the actor playing him isn't doing his job.
Didn’t he have Jock’s and Ellie’s blessing in doing that? I believe they were just as much apart of that as JR.
They definitely were. Valene had every right to hate both of them.
Miss Ellie did try and make up for it by buying Val and Gary a house, though.
You're missing the point: viewers enjoyed hating him.
That happened before the series began so I can only speculate in what was going on, but knowing that Gary was an alcoholic and a compulsive gambler who got a 15 year old Valene pregnant, isn't it possible that Jock and Ellie both agreed that Valene and Gary weren't capable at that time, of taking good care of their daughter, that it was unsafe to leave Lucy in their care? From the way they made it look, they were both welcome by Ellie and Jock to move into Southfork to be with their daughter but they declined that opportunity. I remember Lucy remarking how little her parents even bothered to visit her.
They may very well have enjoyed hating some characters and they probably loved it when something bad happened to one of those characters, but you asked this:
I loved it every time I saw JR grind Cliff out underneath the heel of his boot......I wouldn't describe that as liking and enjoying Cliff. I'd say I enjoyed Ken Kercheval's portrayal of Cliff. he was excellent at making it very easy to hate Cliff.
They gave us protagonist (antihero) JR and antagonist Cliff.
Jock and Ellie were the traditional heroic types as opposed to antiheroes. Bobby and Pam were much more the traditional heroic types as well. Dallas gave us something you rarely saw on a TV series at that time - an antihero. The audience was ready for an antihero then. The right show with the right actors came along at the right time and the result was a phenomenon.
There's a difference between liking a character for what he does (being deliciously and shockingly nasty) and liking a character for what he is.
Just because JR has an enemy doesn't automatically make him a protagonist. It was a feud, but not based on good vs evil.
What a character does and who he is are tied together. What man does is what makes him who he is.
What makes JR the protagonist is being the central character, not that he has an enemy; I agree with you on that.
Oxford defines protagonist as: The leading character or one of the major characters in a play, film, novel, etc.
Go to the “antagonist” Wikipedia page. There’s a little surprise waiting for you. Lol
It was an odd situation. JR did threaten to have Val killed if she showed up, but as you said, that was backstory. They never gave a truly valid reason why Val, Lucy, and Gary couldn't have at least had regular visits. Even if it never happened on screen, the writers could have had a few lines on Dallas for Lucy, such as when she didn't go to JR and Sue Ellen's second wedding she says how she's spending a few days in KL. Over on that show, Val could have made a passing remark such as, "I'm so happy Lucy stayed with us for a few days."
Separate names with a comma.